E-commerce giant Amazon has been reported to lay off hundreds of employees in its headquarters and global operations after years of remarkable growth.
Reports coming out of Seattle say the rationale behind the staff cuts is an attempt to streamline the company’s consumer retail business. However, the company has said it is trying to find alternative roles for the staff who will be affected.
In a statement from Amazon, it said it expects “small reductions in some places and aggressive hires in many others.”
This decision is not surprising given the massive growth the company is experiencing through global expansion and as they focus on other more technology-driven areas, more jobs will be created.
The company regularly has thousands of job openings on its website, due to its global position and as a result of its rapid expansion in recent years. The e-commerce company has recently succeeded in acquiring a number of other businesses, such as grocery store Whole Foods, while continuing to grow sales rapidly.
In 2017 alone, Amazon is said to have made a profit of $3.9 billion with sales of more than $226 billion. The dominant company’s growth is highlighted in its fourth-quarter 2017 performance, with sales up 38% to $77 billion, a new business record.
Earnings from this period were more than double those of the last three months of 2016, reaching $2.4 billion compared to $953 million. The huge profit growth can be attributed in part to a $789 million tax break from the government related to a new US tax law.
Employee growth has also picked up, with the company reporting a 65% increase in the number of full-time and part-time employees worldwide at the end of December, bringing the company’s total to more than 560,000 employees.
The majority of these new employees would work under the Amazon Web Services branch, where many new positions have been created. Amazon Web Services is Amazon’s cloud services arm that has proven to be very profitable.
The release and further development of Alexa has also created new jobs within the company as they look to improve its features and introduce other devices.
Amazon has previously had to lay off employees after consolidations as they continue to grow.
Last year, Amazon shut down a number of sites, including Diapers.com, which it acquired in 2010. This would have resulted in over 260 employees in New Jersey.
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